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Barack Obama sings tribute to Ray Charles

ShowbizBy Sunday World
Barack Obama sings tribute to Ray Charles

US President Barack Obama led a sing-a-long tribute to Ray Charles at his final 'In Performance at The White House'.

Obama hosted the event at the presidential residence on Wednesday (24.02.16) in honour of his and wife Michelle's "favourite" musician - who died in 2004 at the age of 73 from acute liver disease - which saw Barack take to the stage to commemorate the 'Hit The Road Jack' hitmaker, who was blind from the age of seven.

Obama said: "Over the past seven years, Michelle and I have set aside nights like this to celebrate the music that shaped America. I will not sing. But for our last one, it is fitting that we pay tribute to one of our favourites.

"Whatever genre of music he was playing, there was no mistaking his singular sound: that virtuoso piano playing that matched that one-of-a-kind voice. Even as a young man, he had the rich, raw honey tone of an old soul.

"To see Ray's legacy, you don't have to look far. Ray Charles had the rare ability to collapse our weightiest emotions into a single note.

"He couldn't see us, but we couldn't take our eyes off of him."

The occasion saw performances from Usher, who performed Charles' most-recognised hit 'Georgia On My Mind', The Band Perry and Demi Lovato.

Taking to her Twitter account after meeting the American leader, the 'Cool for the Summer' singer posted on Twitter: "What an amazing trip ... Surrounded by INCREDIBLE talent and such awesome people.. God is good. (sic)"

The 'In Performance at The White House' show - which has run for 38 years - will be broadcast by PBS on Friday (26.02.16).